Google Dishes More on AdWords Content

Google’s thankfully opening the kimono on their Content Network advertising more and more, to the benefit of us agencies and advertisers. There’s good info in their blog post today – much of it is advice that even Search advertisers should take to heart (for example, pertinent landing pages), and I haven’t learned much readers of my SEW Content Advertising column wouldn’t already know, but in aggregate it’s great stuff:

Recently, we wrote a three part series on the Google content network. Many of you were interested in more optimization advice for the content network, and we’re sharing more of those tips today:

On the search network, ads are shown to users who are specifically searching for results using one of your keywords. On the content network, ads are shown to users as they research interests and browse sites that are related to your keywords and ad text. Users on the content network are in a different mindset than users on search, so changes to your keywords, ad text and account structure may be necessary to make the most out of your content network advertising.

  • Create separate search and content campaigns.
    This will allow you to:

    • Optimize your ad groups and ad text specifically for content pages.
    • Target different audiences. If you sell flowers, you may want to create a content ad group to show your ads to couples by targeting pages relevant to them.
    • Use general keywords to strengthen the theme of your ad group, without affecting your search performance.
  • Think about the type of user browsing a web page and write ads to catch that user’s attention.
    • It’s important for your ad text to relate to the webpage on which it appears. If your target user is going to be on pages related to flowers, mention flowers or closely related products in the ad text.
    • Test multiple creatives and ad formats (text, image, video) in all available sizes to gain better insight into what sort of ads will perform the best for you.
  • Include call-to-action phrases.
    • Phrases like ‘Register now,” “Get a free quote,” and “Call now” can can help set expectations for the person who is about to visit your site.
    • Your call-to-action should be what you consider to be a conversion.
  • Highlight special offers or features available on your site.
    • We’ve found that advertisers often get higher ROI on the content network when they include product prices in their ads. Prices and special offers can help you stand out from competitors and showcase your best deals.
  • Link your ad to customized landing pages that match the information in your ad text.

    • If your ad highlights a special deal on cell phones, make sure that the ad directs users to the specific cell phone page of your site. And ensure that your landing pages are clear and easy to navigate.

As you implement these tips and those from the previous optimization post, we recommend that you track the performance of your campaigns and iterate to figure out what works well for you.

  • Track the performance of your contextually targeted ads using Placement Performance reports.

    • The Placement Performance report (PPR) provides information on where your contextually targeted ads are showing up and how they are performing. You can use placement targeting (CPC or CPM) to further target the placements where your ads are performing particularly well and use site exclusion to exclude them from sites where they are not performing well. You can find more tips on how to use PPR effectively to boost campaign performance here.
  • Let Google track and manage your campaign’s performance for you.